here's what others are saying about the zwitty ultra coaching program:
dean karnazes (the "ultramarathon man")
- The world's only 10-time Badwater 135 and 10-time Western States 100 finisher
- Spartathlon 153 (Greece) finisher, which he achieved on a diet of only water, olives and figs (to mimic the original feat of Greek messenger Pheidippides)
- Leadville 100 "sub-25" finisher
- 4 Deserts finisher
- Ran across America to raise money/awareness for Action For Healthy Kids (in conjunction with Live! With Kelly)
- Ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days
- New York Times best-selling author (multiple books)
- In 2006, was named one of TIME Magazine's "100 most influential people in the world"
“What I most admire about Dave & Michele is that neither of these guys had to do this. They started the Zwitty Ultra Endurance Coaching Program because it is what they wanted to do, and their passion and conviction shines through in all that they do. While both are incredibly accomplished athletes in their own right, as well as high achievers in life, they are steadfastly committed to helping others reach their goals and become the best that they can be.
These two guys are incredibly dedicated to their clients' successes and have developed the right formula to achieve breakthrough results. If you’re looking for excellence in coaching to elevate your running to the next level, I encourage you to checkout Zwitty and the customized programs Dave and Michele offer. Then, get out there and kick some butt!”
aly venti (3rd-fastest 100-miler in u.s. history)
- Ran the third-fastest 100-miler ever on United States soil (Keys 100, 2014: 14:42)
- Member of the U.S. 24-hour national team that will compete at the World Championships in Torino, Italy in 2015
- Has won every ultramarathon she has completed
- Course-record holder for both the 50 and 100 at the Keys 100
- 2014 Badwater 135 champion
"I met Dave in 2012 during the first 10 miles of the Keys100. I was a clueless rookie trying to complete my first 100 mile race and I couldn’t have met up with a more perfect running partner. I was intimidated by all the pre-race talk about splits and times, but a 5 minute conversation with Dave made it clear that he was out there to accomplish two simple tasks: to race, and to have fun doing it. Since then Dave and I have shared many runs together. We share a similar love of running that can be hard to articulate, especially to non-runners, but I think Dave described it well when he said “running is my happy place”. His joy of running is contagious, even non-runners may find themselves wanting to give it a try after a 10 minute talk with Dave. One of Dave’s major strengths is his balance of his competitive nature and his love of the sport. He is just as excited to run a PR himself as he is to see one of his friends achieve the same goal. As a racer, Dave has experienced it all from course record victories to frustrating DNFs. These experiences have created a complete athlete, both emotionally and physically, equipping him with the tools to face any situation. I am so excited that he has started coaching so others can benefit from his positive energy and support.
Bob becker (keys 100 race director)
"Dave, I'm glad you asked me to consider writing a testimonial. I am very happy to oblige. Your own race results speak for themselves as you've become a star on the ultra scene and put your experience to very good personal use. But personal racing success doesn't necessarily translate to good coaching skills. Your documented successes do. From Mike Holt to Lauren Hadley and the many others who have improved their PR's by hours, to those you've prepared well for their first long-distance races, I'm glad to recommend your skills to people who ask me for coaching support. And I urge everyone to do the same. I think it's terrific that more people will be able to benefit now that you are formalizing your ultra-coaching program. Best of luck, Dave."
mike holt (florida ultrarunner)
- Florida marathon/ultramarathon runner who recently completed his first 50-mile race (Keys 50)
"Why would anyone hire a running coach?" This is a thought that has crossed my mind a time or two since my slow decent (or ascent) into the world of distance running more than fifteen years ago. As I thought about this question in the context of writing this, I think I have better perspective now. And I definitely have some thoughts about Dave's running abilities, teaching acumen and overall understanding of the ultra-distance lifestyle. To sum it up, the answer, for me, is "realizing possibilities" and "unlocking potential."
I met Dave about three years ago in Miami (we worked together). At that point, I considered myself a pretty decent runner, but with my best days in the rear view mirror. At the time, I hadn't been running very much at all, as I was recovering from the first major injury I'd ever encountered (stress fracture in knee - Ouch !). I'd run several marathons by then and had taken part in some relay runs like Keys 100 and Ragnar. During these relays, I'd see the "solo" runners and think to myself, "how on earth could anyone ever do that?" To me, taking a single step beyond 26.2 seemed impossible and frankly unnecessary. Even though a few of the solo runners didn't seem particularly "fit" and I figured I could take them in a shorter race, I just did not think I could ever do what they were doing.
Sometimes in life, people constrain themselves mentally in terms of what they can accomplish. Not everyone can break through those barriers on their own. Sometimes you need a cohort, an accomplice, a "partner in crime" to help goad you. This seems particularly true in running, where at least for me, I can look back and see how, in different stages of my life, different people helped me along, or dared me to try something I thought was crazy. Without these people, I wouldn't be where I am in terms of my ability to enjoy the sport.
Enter Dave. When we started running, I knew he was a maniac, training several times a day and entering ultras what seemed like every other week. Training with him definitely got me more interested in the challenge, but mentally, I wasn't there. I knew myself and thought I knew what my limits were. This is where "realizing possibilities" comes in. Dave has an amazing ability to help envision what a person can accomplish with the right mindset and training approach. Slowly, as I got back into better shape, he convinced me to try some runs slightly over 26 miles. Wow. I did it. Never thought I could do that! Then 30 miles. Then a 50k, and so on (50 miles is my longest run so far, looking forward to a 100). During this process, I learned to approach distance running differently; for lack of a better term I call it an "ultra" outlook. This change in attitude/approach helped me realize that I could complete these longer runs and finish them with a measure of dignity. For me, Dave's ability to demonstrate and put in place a different way of thinking made all the difference. At that point, and today, I feel like the door is open for me to achieve things in running I never thought were physically possible. I know that I can run an ultra-marathon. That's a pretty good metal place to be.
Most people who would even think about running in a marathon, let alone an ultra marathon, are fairly competitive types. I'm no different. With running, my "thing" has always been to try and "unlock" my potential and improve my personal best times. This is another area where a coach like Dave can really help. Back when I was running marathons, I had no training approach other than to get in a few runs during the week and a long one on the weekends. This worked for me, but looking back, I wish I would've been a little smarter about it. I believe Dave can help others unlock the potential by taking some of the guesswork out of training. What impresses me about him in this regard is he "knows" the lifestyle and understands how to approach a course. Intimately. He game-plans races like nobody I've ever seen before. Having a well thought-out plan in mind before-hand, and putting in the type of training necessary to achieve those goals puts a runner in an ideal position. Dave also has a vast knowledge of diet, hydration, and getting through a bad bonk. I've seen him interact with many runners; there is no "one size fits all" approach to this and he understands this implicitly. Importantly, he has the "tools" in the "kit" and can provide individualized advice that can really make a difference in the quality of a race experience.
I've probably gone on long enough. If you've read this far, you probably get my point. I hope this is helpful as you consider your running goals and working with a coach to help achieve them !
lauren hadley (florida ultrarunner)
- Florida ultrarunner who, within the past six months in the Zwitty program, set a 50-mile PR (by six hours) and finished her first 100k
"Working with Dave has helped me reach a new level in my training and racing. Before working with Dave, I spent 2 years struggling to finish races beyond a 50k distance. My first 50 miler was a disaster, I was undertained, had absolutely no plan, and ended up walking the last 13 miles and finishing in just under 17 hours.
Further, I had trouble maintaining a weekly mileage above 40 miles/week without getting injured. My training was sporadic, inconsistent, and lacked direction. Working with Dave, my weekly mileage hit 60 miles/week for the first time, and I felt better than I felt at the lower mileage! To top it off, my first race after joining the Zwitty training team was a 46 miler in high heat and humidity. Dave helped me develop a flawless race plan (the first time I've had a plan), recommending things I had never considered such as long sleeves to ward off the sun. He also helped me develop a nutrition/fluid plan and different pacing strategies.
When race day came, I was able to execute the plan, stay in the moment, and achieved my "best case" race. I finished the 46 miles in just under 10 1/2 hours, more than 6 hours faster than my 50 miler a year before and with the biggest smile on my face. My first 100 is now in less than 4 months, and I'll definitely stick with the Zwitty program to help me reach that ultimate goal!"
tony portera (6-time badwater 135 finisher)
- 6-time Badwater 135 finisher
- 2-time Brazil 135 finisher
- 18 total 100-mile finishes
- 2014 Badwater Ultra Cup finisher (completed Badwater Cape Fear 50-miler, Badwater Salton Sea 81-miler, and Badwater 135 in same calendar year)
- Completed the 350-mile Caminho Da Fe ("Path of Faith") in Brazil in 7 days
Dave carries over the style and approach used in training for his own ultra distance events into coaching his clients, and is as passionate about helping others reach their goals as he is about attaining his own. Recognizing that each client is unique, requiring different modes of training to improve athletic performance, Dave uses a systemic yet functionally adaptable approach that is specifically tailored to each client’s individual needs.
Whether you are training for your first ultra marathon, looking to improve your past performance, or in need of someone to develop and implement structure in your training to get you to the next level, Dave is a brilliant choice to help you reach your goals."
chris roman (u.s. record-holder at brazil 135)
- 2-time Badwater finisher (2011, 2012)
- 3-time Brazil 135 finisher, including the fastest time ever for an American (2014)
- Over 20 races completed of 100 miles or longer
"I have known Dave competitively and personally for several years. In both competing and training, I have seen first hand Dave's dedication to the sport. Athletically, that dedication and implementation has proven successful time and time again, especially at some of the world toughest events. His love of endurance has evolved into a family affair. Not only is his wife Alex a part of each and every event, but his team name reflects his priority, his family. There is no question that he will help you succeed. I could not recommend him more as a friend and as an athlete to help you meet your goals."
jen vogel (pro triathlete)
- Professional Triathlete/Coach
- Keys 100 champion (2009 and 2010)
- 2nd-place finisher, Badwater 135 (2011)
"Dave's coaching style brings a much-needed systematic and periodized model to ultrarunning training. He's not the kind to have you 'pull a tire' just for the sake of doing so. Instead, he imparts a scientific and individualized program to his clients that is both effective and sustainable."
eric spencer (ultrarunner)
- Florida ultrarunner
- Finisher of Badwater (2014), Leadville 100 (2014), as well as many other 100-mile races
"I've learned more from both pacing Dave at the Keys 100 and also being paced by him at Badwater, beyond just our daily conversations about running. I thought I knew quite a bit about ultra running and the strategy behind succeeding at a higher level, but my experiences with Dave have improved my training and racing on so many levels."